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Thread: Any opinions on spinner targets?

  1. #1

    Any opinions on spinner targets?

    I found a rifle range that I am VERY happy with* and I will be spending more time there. I've done the math on ammunition, cleaning supplies, and range time. I'm now looking at targets.

    I did the math and even printing my own targets or ordering in bulk it seems like its a better use of my money buy a steel spinner target once than to buy paper targets over and over. Something like this:

    The first thing I need to check is to see if my range will let me use thse. Since they regularly let people shoot propane tanks and appliances I expect it'll be OK.

    Are these targets as simple as a bit of steel that spins around? Do I just find one that I like and buy it or do I need to think about safety and durability?

    I intend to shoot my .22 Marlin and my Springfield 1911 clone as much as possible. I also have a Hakim (8mm Mauser) and a Mosin Nagant M44. Most of these spinners are for .22, but would the ones for larger calibers react to a smaller round well enough to show a hit?

    Anyone have any experience with these targets? Recommendations?

    Seems like an awfully long post for a simple buying decision, but no sense in spending my money before I get some free opinions. Thanks for reading and for any tips!!

    *My range is Knob Creek near Louisville, KY. Great guys. Good prices. Nice facility. Close to home.

  2. #2
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    San Angelo, Tx
    If you're shooting rifle, durability needs to be a top priority.

    Even .223 Rem at short range will make short work of most steel targets.


  3. #3
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    Haha, Knob Creek. You are so lucky.

    Anyway, the steel spinner targets work well for .22 and handgun. Some versions are rated ONLY for .22 LR and cannot be used with anything else. I have a Hoppes one. It's good. After perhaps 500rds, it's showing some wear and twisting. The handgun ones are usually rated only up to .45 ACP, and usually with soft or hollow point bullets. A lot of them also say to use only at 25 yards or farther, which is quite far for handgun. Go close and you risk ricochet in your face.

    Most steel spinner targets are completely out of the question for rifle. Rifle rounds will go through them and make nasty holes. It may also shatter and/or richochet the bullet, which is dangerous in all cases but extremely dangerous with rifle rounds. There are specific armor steel targets intended for very long distance rifle shooting, which will not be seriously damaged by the bullets, but I think those are generally for use at a minimum of 100-200 yards, or even farther.

    For safe and cheap interactive targets, consider balloons, milk jugs, and cans. There are also some plastic spinner-like targets that are supposed to be durable but avoid all the danger of shatter and richochet - might be worth researching those.
    Have you donated to NRA-ILA lately? They need your money now!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    North Idaho/Eastern Washington
    I just wrote you a nice, long primer on steel targets, but it went to the great bit bucket in the sky. Too bad. I'm not going to rewrite it.

    Look up the IPSC folks, and pistol clubs and ranges-- they have the steel target thing down to a science. There are some very, very important dos and don'ts. Commercial steel targets, or the many that I've used, are all junk, or near junk, IMO. Othewrwise they'd cost hundreds, to a thousand dollars. Local welding and fab shops are the place to go, once you have a good design.

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